Inger and Jeff Latreille
Tires, Monuments and Loops
~Monday, October 25, 2021~
It rained all night which we knew was the forecast. With the amount of months we’ve been on the East Coast, we’re definitely getting used to the fact that it rains off and on through Summer and Fall. Our small, modest closets have definitely had the exchange of summer to winter gear, now with a permanent 50/50 mix (at least while we’re in the East); t-shirts, shorts, turtlenecks and thermals. I think we have this down now.
Today seemed like a good day for a tire repair, so to Bennington we went (about a 25-minute drive). Thank goodness it was a slow leak so we didn’t have to take out the spare just to get to the tire place. That would have easily taken an hour alone. In the October 23rd post, I had mentioned that we found the leak but couldn’t see the culprit. They found nothing actually in the tire, so it must have been a run-over of something small which is why it wasn’t a rapid leak. When it came time to pay the bill, I was in a little bit of a shock when he said, “That will be $45.00.” We’ve never paid that much for a tire repair, even in California. The most we’ve ever paid is $20. In hindsight Jeff said he should have done a little comparison shopping, but these guys had excellent reviews. At least we were somewhere convenient to get the fix done as opposed to being in “Timbuktu”.
In the town of Bennington, there is a prominent monument that stands 306 feet tall that you can’t help but notice from miles
around called the Bennington Battle Monument. Intrigued, we had to go check it out. Here’s a test to see if you were paying attention in history class…..The Battle of Bennington. Anyone remember that one? I guess I wasn’t paying attention in class that day since I had never heard of this battle. This battle which occurred in August of 1777 is considered to be the major turning point in the Revolutionary War. This seems to be an important part of history, don’t you think? As British General John Burgoyne strategized his plot to divide New England from the rest of the colonies, he was short in supplies and horses which is why Bennington came into the picture. News got out quickly that Bennington had what the General needed. The defense of these supplies located at the monument’s site, ignited a fierce battle about 10 miles away in New York. General John Stark led the American troops of 2,350 against the British Army’s 1,450. Casualties were around 977 and the precursor in turning the tide of the war, in favor of the Americans. Two months later, Burgoyne’s Army would be defeated at Saratoga. To commemorate this battle, a monument was completed and dedicated in 1891 at the supply location. Constructed of blue-grey magnesian limestone, it was built with the intent to be noticed. They succeeded. There is also an observation deck with views of 3 states at the top (Vermont of course, Massachusetts and New York), but sadly, it was closed today with the elevator out of service. We were however, given permission by the docent to tour the small ground floor with interpretive signs describing the battle and the construction of the monument. There were also a few relics from the past, like the 400-pound kettle suspended from the first floor ceiling, captured from General Burgoyn’s camp at Saratoga. On two sides of the monument are 2 statues…..one of which was of Seth Warner, commander of the militia group, the Green Mountain Boys. The other statue is of the Revolutionary War hero, General John
Stark posed with an outstretched hand leading his troops to victory. What a fascinating, yet unexpected tour.
Next, we took a slight detour to take a recommended drive along the Dorset Hollow Loop. What is so beautiful about this 6-mile treasure, not only enhanced by the Fall mountain scenery, are the antique, colonial, and farmhouse
style homes set in acres of pastureland, beauty and solitude. But it also has quite a story. The fierce determination to preserve this jewel has been quite the challenge over the years. Back in the 60’s, 900 acres, owned by the Weineke family, was sold to Pennsylvania native Mr. Tetzlaff. Not long after, word spread that he had partnered with a lumber company to purchase an additional 3,000 acres to construct a ski resort. Thankfully, the endeavor never came to fruition due to lack of funding and legal battles. Subsequently, the land was up for sale where the Wallace family became interested in purchasing much of the parcel as long as other residents would share in the purchase, with the intent of preserving and preventing further development. The Dorset Hollow Corporation (DHC) was formed thereafter, becoming a model for other communities to follow. A great story about preservation, community teamwork, and upholding the vision that early settlers intended. What an amazing gift to be able to live here, where there’s such a sense of community. Because the properties are quite large, you get a sense of privacy, even though your neighbors aren’t too far away. And you’re only minutes to town. It’s seriously got the best of everything. Looks like I’ll be getting in touch with another real estate agent soon!
Last stop of the day…..the Dorset Marble Quarry….the first marble quarry ever in the U.S. established in 1785. Today, it is a much loved community resource with picnic areas and swimming holes.
First opened in 1785 and thriving until 1874, the quarry supplied marble for the construction of the New York Public Library, Brown University’s library, and various mansions throughout New York City, to name a few. Maybe we’ll see one of those buildings at some point in the future on our road trip.
It was an evening of making French Onion Soup, washing the dog and having a campfire. The soup and the fire were a perfect way to end a chilly day. Vermont’s been pretty chilly, but I guess New Hampshire has already had snow. Our friend, Bill, who lives in Massachusetts, messaged us on Facebook that where we had been about 3 weeks ago, near the Kancamagus Highway, had traded in its Fall leaves for white powder. Gosh, that would have been pretty to see, but not fun to be in, towing 6,000 pounds behind us.